France's transportation system was crippled by strikes again on Thursday as workers continued to protest President Nicolas Sarkozy's plan to raise the retirement age to 62.
Less than half of the metro lines in Paris are operating. Half of all the long-distance trains are expected to be cancelled and major cancellations are also expected at airports.
"I have mixed feelings, but I don't think that this is the right solution," said commuter Herve Veniet. "In any case, we are bound to work longer and if we don't do it now, we will have to do it later. So we might as well accept it, it's for our own good and for our children..."
Sarkozy said the retirement age needs to be raised to save money for France's pension system.
"We must use all the means, all the means at our disposal to put pressure on the government," Martine Aubry, head of the opposition Socialist party, told RTL radio. "But we also think that those who started working very young, or those who had a hard job must still be able to retire at 60,"
Compared to other European countries, France has the lowest retirement age, even if the age were to be raised at 62. Germany recently decided to bump the retirement age from 65 to 67.